Director:James Bryan, Brother Bryan .
Starring. Jack McClelland, Mary Gail Artz,James P. Hayden,Angie Brown. USA. 1h 22m.
This is a total no brainer horror, but one of the uncanny I’ve seen from this era for quite some time. at first it seems that it’s going to build into something special in that b movie kinda way but I feel this is one of the Sharknado, Icetastrophy, Zodiac of the apocalypse low budget flops of yesteryear that didn’t mature well.
A group of young people head into the wilderness for some “fun” mostly pratting around splashing water at each other and pulling stupid pranks but unbeknownst to them there’s a lunatic in a joke shop viking outfit that stalks the woods and kills tourist on a whim. Usually the teens are a bit more liberal, heading out into nature for sexy good times and probably ludicrous amounts of drugs, but back in the 70’s it was usually just a chance to make out. While there’s not a lot of naughtyness there is a fair amount of slashing, for a slasher.. So one by one they are stalked by this crazy guy wearing skins who lives off trash and the land, he doesn’t say much apart from some odd screeching but he can book it for a fat guy.
The teens are slashed, speared and cut up on all sorts of horrible ways while trying meagerly to fight back. Law enforcement are notified and attempt a rescue but the heffer chief is more bothered with procedure and keeping people safe but eventually he gets his ass in gear but does the law ever manage to save/protect people in horror movies!?!? pfftftft
The version I watched had a large amount of dubbing, I’m not sure how or why this was restored, maybe it was the original dub, but it sounded like a porno version of spongebob squarepants, loud oh errs and constant whiney screaming really didn’t enhance the second half of the movie. I’m usually the first to admit that i prefer the less defined scratchy VHS look over and gayray but the filming is really poor, some scenes are really out of focus and others were filmed from the back of a movie car and seem to be b real rather than real footage. The effects are also a little ropy, water pinkish coloured blood, leaking from none visible cuts and the most comic is a scene where someone is being stabbed and clubbed to death but you can clearly see and hear the actors attacking a wooden box with a stuntman’s head sticking out.
BUT!! after all these woes it’s ok, it fits in with a lot of teens in the forest fighting a mad man style horrors but it makes you appreciate other a little more. The lack of a backstory for the bad guy should really work in advantage but I guess we know as much as we need to know about this psycho who just seemed randomly mad rather than scary. For a while there’s a decent build up for something great but despite the bucket of victims, the terrible fake blood keeps squirting throughout poorly staged murder sequences what are hard to figure out, at times it’s impossible to really see what’s going on, but I did like the minimal synthesizer soundtrack.
R – Just Before Dawn (1981), The Forest (1982), The burning (1981)
L – If you go down to the woods today..